Home > Food, General Knowledge > 254/365 – Rasam

254/365 – Rasam

Rasam is a South Indian soup, traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, and chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings.

Steamed lentils are added along with any preferred vegetables. Nowadays all the seasonings required are combined and ground beforehand into a rasam powder, which is available commercially.

It is eaten with rice or separately as soup. In a traditional meal, it is preceded by a sambar rice course and is followed by curd rice.

Rasam has a distinct taste in comparison to the sambar due to its own seasoning ingredients and is usually fluid in consistency.


In Sanskrit language, ‘Rasa’ means Juice. It can refer to any juice but in Tamil simply rasam commonly referred to the one prepared with Tamarind/Tomato juice with added spices.

Historically, it was prepared mainly with black pepper and tamarind, both ingredients native to and abundant inSouth India in general.

Sourashtras, an immigrant community living inMadurai from the 16th century, still refer to it as Pulichaar (Puli or Pulipu means tart (tamarind). Rasam is the basis of the Anglo-Indian Mulligatawny soup.

This is only corrupted version of a Tamil word ‘Milagu-t-tannir’ meaning pepper water (In Tamil milagu means black pepper and tannir means water).

It is said that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose once commented that if he had command over the country, he would have declared Rasam a national drink.


There are different kinds of rasam, varying by ingredient:

Tomato rasam, Lemon Rasam, Meriyala/Milagu (Pepper) rasam, Neem flower rasam, Ginger rasam, Garlic Rasam, Pineapple Rasam, Parupu (Dal) rasam, Porichcha rasam, Drumstick Rasam, etc.,

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasam

Categories: Food, General Knowledge
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